Tasting Notes for ikkaariainen

(1,373 notes on 988 wines)

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White - Sweet/Dessert
11/18/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
94 points
Exceptionally good and well balanced old German riesling-based ice wine, closed out Kim's 51st b-day dinner with this. A 375 cc split and this has at least a decade+ of life left with proper cellaring. Dark amber, very well balanced, no tannins at all, good fruit and acid present with good structure and backbone. Nose initially muted compared to palate but aromatics developed nicely - tangerines, warm peach, bourbon and maple syrup on the nose. Palate rich but balanced with honey, caramel, figs, apricot and classic creme brule. A super long delectable aftertaste lingers on forever. HIGHLY recommend this. THANK YOU Tim Wallace of the Charlotte NC Wine Vault for this.
Red
12/5/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
92 points
Overall a very consistent impression from my last TN over 2 years ago, now just 2 years older. Wonderfully mature and drinking superbly but the tannins and acid are all gone thus would recommend drinking up any remaining inventory now - the fruit will start to fade. A very good and very mature limited production Napa Valley cab that remains a very good QPR at our price point. Deep purple with some peripheral bricking, medium - full bodied, soft & balanced, very well integrated, as noted above the tannins are now all gone and a shortening aftertaste. Nose dark and warm with dark cherry, cola and mocha. Primary flavors include subtle oak, cassis, dark cherry and blueberry with a hint of smoke at the end. Still a really beautiful wine, highly recommend this wine although as noted above needs to drink up any remaining holdings - this is on it's last legs at this level. This needs a bit of swirling and air in the glass but no decant needed.
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Red
12/1/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
92 points
Splash decanted on a whim, just got 4 bottles and was dying to try one w/ dinner, each glass improved so totally agree with the longish decant (if possible) recommended in a couple of the TN's below. A great QPR wine and highly recommend this. Quintessential old world wine and at this stage of development a truly mature aglianico but not a typical Italian wine - minimal acidity or brightness and tannins very well integrated and soft. Very dark purple, no bricking, mature / balanced / softening with an extremely lengthy aftertaste. Dark aromatic nose of dark cherry, dark plum, violet and mocha. Smooth well balanced palate with good minerality and otherwise earthy with dark plum, tar and a hint of smoke on the end. In a great drinking window, no further upside to further cellaring and with proper cellaring anticipate at least another 3 good years.
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Red - Fortified
11/18/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
91 points
It has been a couple years since I wrote a note on this and still largely agree with my previous comments - at our acquisition price this is one of the best QPR wines I have ever had. This is my low end entry level go to port especially w/ cigars (TF 20 being my higher end go to port). What has really struck me with these last few bottles is how much it mellows out and improves in the first 1-2 weeks so if a larger group is going to consume the entire bottle at one sitting this will definitely improve with even a rather impromptu splash decant. Warm dark caramel color, muted but sweet raisin, plum and mocha on the nose, very reasonable length of aftertaste, initially reasonably well integrated with no off tones and THIS is what really improves with air. Primary flavor profile of caramel, mocha, raisins and burnt sugar. Highly recommend this as an entry level port.
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Red
11/18/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
92 points
Quite a reasonable QPR wine at our acquisition cost. A lovely and now mature Anderson Valley pinot which has really softened, rounded out and integrated. Decanted for 2 hours+ and it really benefited from that. Clearly a CA pinot, not burgundian in style at all but now much softer and better balanced then the previous bottles. Very dark purple, long aftertaste, nose of dark fruit / brambles and primary flavors of dark cherry, anise and tobacco. Just beautiful with a 2-hour decant. Definitely recommend this wine.
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White
11/16/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
89 points
A reasonable QPR at our acquisition cost. Would not immediately place this in Napa Valley but also definitely not in New Zealand either - not that level of acidity, citrus and lemongrass. Clean, crisp, pale yellow with an initial zing out of the bottle which settled down quickly. Probably has another 1-2 good years with proper cellaring but not built for any kind of long haul. Nose bright and acidic with a hint of bubbles / effervescence and yellow lemon. Palate a bit warmer with orange and citrus but also mango and white peach. Virtually no aftertaste at all. Recommend this for lovers of a clean, crispy and lean but not overly citrusy and lemongrassy NZ style of SB.
White
11/14/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
91 points
Classic Kabinett-level entry level riesling from a very well respected producer and a very good QPR wine at sub $20 / bottle. Well structured with plenty of acid left for significant further aging under proper cellaring conditions. Surprisingly sweet although not in a cloying or any negative way - I think this will soften out with age. The initial glass had some effervescence / light bubbles which blew off quickly and were not present on subsequent glasses. Good mouth feel with a very long aftertaste. Clear golden yellow, nose of warm yellow peach and tropical hibiscus and flavors of peach and mango up front with a much leaner streak of stone and petrol on the end. Highly recommend this for riesling lovers.
Rosé
11/13/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
90 points
One of the better more serious rosès out there, highly recommend this. Salmon pink, 100% pinot, good structure and although not built for aging it is acidic and intense enough that this should cellar for 1-2 years. Nose strawberry and rose, palate more raspberry and red cherry.
Red
11/10/2018 - ikkaariainen wrote:
91 points
Having tried the '13 last night we tried the '12 tonight. Both quite good and good QPR wines but the '13 is much further along - the '12 is a bigger, darker, more fruit forward, more tannic and simpler wine which is drinking well but I feel may not have quite reached it's peak yet. This needs a decant, the hour or so that we let it breath in the bottle was not sufficient as the wine kept changing over the next couple of glasses. Very dark purple to black, a bold almost sweet bouquet of dark fruit and garrigue and the palate dominantly oaked with cassis, smoke, dark cherry and blackberry.Definitely recommend this wine and it easily has another 5-10 years ago with proper cellaring.
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Red
11/9/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
92 points
Lovely, soft and very mature Alexander Valley cab that is really a good QPR wine at our acquisition price. Dark purple, nose more intense then the palate with balanced oak, plum, violet and tar and classic soft balanced palate of oak, cassis, blueberry and some earth and smoke on the late palate. Acid and tannins now very soft and fading. Moderately length aftertaste. Highly recommend this wine and with proper cellaring I expect that this will have an additional 2-3 years of peak performance but at this point the remaining bottles should be in the drinking rotation.
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Red
11/5/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
92 points
The best of the various '10 CT Napa cab bottlings, our 2nd bottle of 4. Drinking perfectly, no further upside in cellaring and need to put this into the drinking rotation. A very good QPR at this point given original CT price - another great Smig winemaking effort. Would recommend at least a short decant, we used aerating filter and drank well 1st night as well as held up very well 2nd night with overnight refrigeration. Soft, mature, well balanced, smooth, good mouth feel and both acid and tannins virtually all gone so would not hold on to this much longer. Deep dark purple color, soft aromatic dark nose of violet, blueberry, blackberry and lavendar with palate of balanced oak, cassis, dark fruit and licorice. Highly recommend for the next 1-2 years, may start dropping fruit after that.
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Rosé
11/5/2018 - ikkaariainen wrote:
87 points
Delightful tasty light easy drinking rosè, good QPR at our acquisition cost, get this every year by the case, very stereotypical entry level Provence rosè. Definitely recommend.
Red
11/3/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
92 points
Popped & poured at a birthday dinner in Charlotte NC at Bernardin's with birthday girl Ray McKinnon and fellow wine lovers John & Malinda Chamberlain who very graciously provided this excellent pinot. Would recomend an hour decant. Mature and in a very good drinking window - no further upside to additional cellaring, would recommend drinking now and anticipate at least another 2-3 years at this level with appropriate cellaring. Dark ruby with no physical signs of aging. The nose has one of the most complex and beautiful bouquets I have ever come across - the medical peeps reading this review will understand when I say that when I am hospitalized and on oxygen THIS is what I want humidifying the O2 circuit, just a melangue of aromatic goodness. Well balanced, full bodied, subtle acid and tannins, minimal oak present and on the palate cherry, raspberry and cooking spices dominate. Just an excellent archetypical high end OR Wllamette Valley pinot - highly recomend this wine.
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Red
11/3/2018 - ikkaariainen wrote:
93 points
Our last bottle of six and almost a decade since I wrote a TN on this wine. Time has been very very kind to this wine - now well balanced, much softer and completely mature / in a great drinking window with probably another at least 2-3 years+ left at this level with proper cellaring. Probably no further upside to further cellaring and definitely recommend starting to drink up any remaining holdings. We loved this last night, highly recommend it and at our original acquisition price of at around $40 / bottle this is now a great QPR wine - thought about bumping up the score another point. Good mouth feel, one of the softest Aussies we've had, smooth, much less jammy and intense then in it's youth, very well balanced with remaining tannins now well integrated and fading. This last bottle was popped & poured at a restaurant, would recommend a short 30-60 min decant. Dark purple to black color with some peripheral bricking. Nose aromatic and dark with balanced dark fruit, eucalyptus and more smoke then the tar I remember from previous bottles. Primary flavors include dark stone fruit, black currant and rasoberry up front with darker tones of licorice, tar, terroir and black pepper on the mid-late palate. Very long pleasant lingering aftertaste.
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Red
11/3/2018 - ikkaariainen wrote:
91 points
A really good QPR wine and already drinking well but no need to rush on this - this has at least another decade left under appropriate cellaring conditions and I do anticipate some further improvement (with a concomitant improvement in the score) with further time, especially with improved balance and integration. Clear black color with no hint of aging / bricking. Intense nose of brambles, dark fruit, spices (lavendar, rose) and a hint of smoke. Good mouth feel, long aftertaste, good backbone and acid and tannins still very much present - as noted above all the flavor elements here but with time will be a smoother more integrated wine as the tannins soften. Palate earthy with dark fruit (plum, black cherry), stone and on the mid-late palate more leather, tobacco abd smoke. Highly recommend - this wine definitely still has upside with further cellaring. Stylistically not purely an old world wine.
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White
11/3/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
89 points
Fruit starting to fade a bit so it is definitely time to drink up any remaining holdings - likely just a bit past prime by now. Having said that still quite a good bottle and enjoyable wine - very well balanced and much leaner, more reductive in style then many of the big name CA chards. Clear pale yellow and nose more fruity then body / palate with an intense nose of peach and apple spice. Good mouth feel, slightly acidic, leaner then expected with a hint of oak and butter but primary flavors included peach, apple and papaya - warmer sweeter fruit. Reasonably long aftertaste. Would definitely have recommended this up to even 1-2 years ago but cannot really any longer recommend at this point since as noted above I believe it to now be a bit past prime.
Red
11/2/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
90 points
A solid 90, maybe 91 pointer and this wine is now at it's peak - I doubt it will improve further with additional cellaring and time to put the other 4 bottles into the drinking rotation. A very good QPR wine at our original CT price and another great effort by wine maker Smig. With proper cellaring this has at least another 2-3 good years left. Dark purple to black with a hint of bricking in the periphery. Now very smooth, well integrated, balanced and remaining tannins very soft. Nose is soft and complex with a hint of smoke, underlying oak and notes of red currant and blueberry and with palate of underlying oak, blueberry and cassis with an increasingly earthy finish - on this bottle I did not get the spice notes that previous reviewers had referenced. Aftertaste very pleasant and medium length.
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Red
11/2/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
93 points
Our 3rd bottle of 16 - now in a great drinking window, mature and softening and time to seriously put this into the drinking rotation. This bottle was not decanted - would recommend a 30-60 minute decant. Inky black color. As the wine aerated and opened up the initially somewhat closed nose opened up with warm dark and fruit forward notes. Still a very big wine but well balanced, balanced oak present and tannins now well integrated and softer then on previous bottles. On the front the palate is more fruit forward with black cherry and plum, on the mid-late palate more blackberry / blueberry and violet with a hint of smoke and a long lingering aftertaste. Has at least another 3-5 good years to go with proper cellaring and hats off to the wine making team at Rasa for yet another great effort !! A really great QPR wine at our original CT price.
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Red
10/29/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
97 points
We had the previous bottle now almost a decade ago and on reviewing my TN from '09 I will give it the same excellent score now but not for the youthful intensity and exuberance of yore but rather for real maturity, complexity, balance and a soft elegance that is truly rare in Australian wines. One of the best Aussies and one of the best grenaches that we have ever had. Very hard to find and we HIGHLY recommend this wine overall and the vintages of the late '00's specifically. Relatively short splash decant at Webb Custom Kitchen in Gastonia NC. 100% old vine grenache. Dark purple in color with bricking. Nose initially soft and somewhat muted but with swirling and a bit of air the nose woke up and brought forth a bouquet (in the truest sense of that word) of kirsch, kitchen spices and a hint of eucalyptus. Tannins still present but now very soft so this wine will not improve further with aging, is in a perfect mature drinking window with maybe another 5-7 years to go so for those out there lucky enough to still be holding any now is a good time to start drinking them up. Palate has an underlying hint of minty eucalyptus with smoke, grilled meats, garrigue, violet and spices with a VERY long finish. Shed a small tear on the inside as this last of our bottles was finished up.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Trivento Amado Sur Mendoza Malbec Blend, Malbec (view label images)
11/1/2018 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
89 points
Very good QPR on this remarkably inexpensive quality entry level wine, one of our go-to daily drinkers with meat. Dark color, intense fruit-forward nose and palate at this point well balanced with controlled and softening tannins, hint of oak, dark cherry and rose with a hint of smoke on the late palate. Long aftertaste. Highly recommend in the $13 - $15 range.
Rosé
11/19/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
91 points
An absolutely terrific, delightful and inexpensive rosè enjoyed recently with escargot and tuna tartar at Bacchus on St. Maarten. A great QPR wine. Light, clean, crisp, clear, refreshing, light salmon color, well balanced acidity, very dry, slightly floral nose with an herbal hint and notes of tropical fruit, strawberry and citrus with an interesting and beautiful leaner more saline finish. One could very easily and effortlessly drink very large quantities. It is a flexible enough wine to pair well with lots of things including Asian food given the present acidity. Highly recommend this rosè.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/10/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
93 points
A beautiful, mature, complex and soft CDP from one of the best in the business. Too expensive to be a good QPR wine. Recommend at least an hour if not longer in the decanter. With proper cellaring this still has a long ways to go but not sure there is much upside to further extensive cellaring - I don't think this is going to improve much more. Garnet purple with some peripheral bricking, medium bodied, soft mouth feel, well integrated, elegant and complex with a surprisingly long aftertaste. Nose rich, complex and dark once the funk blew off with herbs, smoke and dark plum. Softer then expected and very well integrated complex flavors of grilled meats, smoke, garrigue, cassis, dark plum and lighter notes of rose & violet. Pairings ? - game meats, lamb, veal, duck, grilled meats, mushrooms, French country cooking, most anything with Mediterranean spices but not too rich or spicy. Highly recommend this wine.
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Red
11/6/2016 - ikkaariainen wrote:
flawed
Even the top of the cork was moldy...I canNOT believe the current condition of all 4 of these wine bottles...
Red
2009 Montesquieu Bordeaux Supérieur Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/2/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
90 points
A really pleasant surprise - a very good, inexpensive and good QPR negociant borxeaux. Popped and poured and quite ok this way but 2nd glass definitely better - would recommend at least an hour in the decanter, time permitting. Surprisingly good wine. Inky purple, full bodied, smooth, balanced tannins and a very nice reasonably long aftertaste. Big somewhat sweet nose with oak, dark fruit and caramel with flavors of oak, dark fruit and cassis up front with an earthier finish including earth, plum and grilled meats Definitely recommend this wine.
Red
11/1/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
90 points
A very good, youthful, big, dark and fruit forward 100% syrah from a premier producer in The Rocks AVA centered around Walla Walla WA. A very good QPR wine and with more maturation, integration and balance I easily see at least another additional 1-2 points. Easily another 5-10 years to go under proper cellaring conditions. Decanted for almost an hour and although approachable / drinkable now I would recommend, time allowing, a good 2-3 hour decant - right now this wine probably cannot get enough aeration. Nose dark, intense and slightly sweey with oak, dark fruit, sweet red cherry and a eucalyptusy note on the end. Flavor profile big, youthful and leaner / drier with oak, intense dark fruit and cola on the front end and a long, beautiful and lingering finish of more earthy gamey notes, again finishing up with a distinct minty / eucalyptusy note I generally equate with Aussie shirazs - ? eucalyptus trees on the property perhaps ? Definitely recommend this wine with the caveat that it needs more time or a lot of air.
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Red
10/30/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
95 points
Not for the faint of heart but so so good - a big boy at 14.2% abv. A big thanks to John & Malinda Chamberlain for bringing this wine. A properly aged and mature WA syrah from the premier producer in the new The Rocks AVA centered around Walla Walla. Too expensive to be a reasonable QPR despite how really excellent this wine is. Popped and poured and mature enough to do this with but I would recommend at least a 30-60 minute decant if time allows. Under proper cellaring conditions this wine has many years left. Inky purple, no signs of bricking yet, full bodied, very smooth yet concentrated, well balanced & integrated, tannins present but well controlled and a wonderful long lingering smokey aftertaste. Beautiful nose with a touch of initial funk which blew off quickly followed by dark fruit, black pepper, smoke and an almost saline quality like a sea breeze - very interesting and unique. Flavor profile complex and minerally up front showing it's native terroir well with a much earthier finish of game meat, leather and smoke. Highly recommend this wine if you can find it despite the price point.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
10/30/2016 - ikkaariainen wrote:
91 points
A really good and leaner, more elegant and newer CA-style chardonnay from a very good producer - oak and butter present but controlled and well integrated. A good QPR wine. Pale yellow, smooth, well integrated and medium - full bodied. Warm almost floral nose of golden apples, hint of vanilla and mulling spice with flavor profile of balanced oak, butter, apples, citrus and a hint of honey. Definitely recommend this wine.
Red
10/30/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
92 points
A very good and very interesting "super Campanian" blend of 60% cab sauv, 30% merlot and 10% local aglianico from Salerno - most vintages of this have the aglianico in the 20-30% range and cab ~ 50%. Probably a bit too expensive to be a reasonable QPR. Decanted for about 3 hours and this seemed about right - this wine is maturing, is approachable and very drinkable but still quite youthful and this can stand a lot of air. Paired very well with coq au vin & risotto. Dark, full bodied, balanced but present tannins, integrating well, cab-heavy as is obvious from the blend and it has a very nice long aftertaste. Big nose with prunes, raisins and coffee and a somewhat more subtle flavor profile of oak, red currant and red berries up front with darker, earthier notes of leather and tobacco later on the palate. Definitly recommend this wine.
Red
10/30/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
90 points
A big thank you to good friend Sandy Porter for bringing this. A very pleasant and now mature but still quite youthful premier cru burgundy from an excellent producer that is a very good QPR wine. Popped and poured and did fine but would recommend a short decant if time allows. Dark red, soft mouth feel, medium bodied, well integrated, tannins present but softening with a reasonably long aftertaste. Sweet red cherry and black pepper on the nose after the funk blew off with a somewhat bright flavor profile of balanced oak and raspberry up front with a more earthy spicy finish. Definitely recommend this wine.
White
No score - 2nd bottle significantly more off / aged then 1st one about 6 weeks ago - went great into risotto though as cooking wine...
Red
No rating and no change w/ second bottle in a week - at this point cooking wine only - went quite quite well in coq au vin though....
Red
1999 Paloma Merlot Spring Mountain District (view label images)
10/29/2016 - ikkaariainen wrote:
88 points
Agree with Schwarzer Hund down below - not techically off in any way and still quite drinkable but almost all the fruit is gone leaving acid and some interesting secondary and tertiary flavors - pretty far over the hill and given how really good the Paloma merlots generally are at this point of maturation this wine is a mere shadow of it's former self. Still paired pretty reasonably with steak but lacked the anticipated punch - the food actually improved the wine some. Hard to recommend this wine at this point - probably rated 90 - 91 even 2-3 years ago. Do not wait to drink up further holdings - rapidly becoming more of a cooking then drinking wine.
Red
10/28/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
89 points
A good but still young and fairly light Loire valley cabernet franc blend from a really good producer. At this point of maturation a very reasonable QPR wine and the QPR assessment will improve w/ age. Light purple, youthful, somewhat bright and acidic but all the components are in place and in 3-5 years this will really be singing - good for at least 10+ years at this point with proper cellaring. Acidic nose with red cherry and a darker heavier tobacco note on the end. Primary flavors included darker cherry, blueberry, green pepper and more white then black pepper on a surprisingly spicy and surprisingly short aftertaste. Definitely recommend this wine with the caveat that it will definitely improve w/ age and right now is probably not quite yet in a ready drinking window.
White
10/28/2016 - ikkaariainen wrote:
91 points
A really good, now approachable and great QPR entry level chablis chardonnay from quite a reputable producer. A very good QPR wine with enough structure and acidity left for aging several more years under proper cellaring conditions - expect some improvement with increased cohesion and further softening of acids. Clear, light yellow, acidic and well structured but also now controlled and quite balanced and approachable. Nose bright, saline and almost effervescent with white pear and green apple. Primary flavors included riper pear, warmer yellow apple and a very interesting hint of what having grown up in Asia I can best describe as green but ripening guava, the big kind. Definitely recommend this wine.
Red
10/27/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
91 points
A quite good, somewhat muted and now almost mature relatively inexpensive entry level to mid-level amarone - a veey reasonable QPR at our price point. Given a long 5-hour decant and would definitely recommend lots of air at this point. This wine easily has at least another 10-12 years+ to go with proper cellaring. Paired beautifully with a Chicago style deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati's. Dark purple, surprisingly soft & muted, big mouth feel, reasonably well balanced and reasonably complex - expect both of these last 2 characteristics to improve with time. Nose initially muted and became dark and intense with oak, dark fruit, leather and coffee notes with intense primary flavors of dark fruit, blueberry, chocolate, coffee and an interesting and totally unexpected note of eucalyptus on the very end. Definitely recommend this wine and with additional age expect at least another 1-2 points of improvement.
Red
No score - not really flawed or corked or otherwise technically bad but just WAY over the hill, way too old at this point.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/24/2016 - ikkaariainen wrote:
flawed
Totally corked - cork was visibly disintegrating even before attempted instrumentation.
White
10/24/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
90 points
A very pleasant, clean, savory, well balanced, surprisingly weighty, very ready to drink and just all around enjoyable sb from a very reputable vineyard. A serious effort for a sb, reasonable QPR given our price point and still has 1-2 years of ageability with proper cellaring. Muted nose of mild oak, citrus and honey dew with a touch oh honey and warm peach on the flavor profile in addition to the citrus and lemon grass - no grape fruit present at all. Definitely recommend this wine.
Red
2001 Dominus Estate Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/17/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
96 points
A beautiful, elegant, complex and still quite youthful Napa valley bdx blend from one of the best. Capped off an epic night of older CA cabs at our wine group tasting and stood up very well to the likes of equally old both Napa & Alexander valley Silver Oak, Caymus SS, Opus One, Quintessa and Mondavi Reserve, was probably the most youthful wine of the tasting and my WOTN. At this point of maturation this is actually quite a good QPR at our original acquisition cost. Still surprisingly youthful and with proper cellaring has at least another 10+ years to go and I actually do anticipate some further improvement - will space out the 2 remaining bottles in 2-3 year intervals. This wine once again proves the old adage that all really good and well made cabernets / bdx blends, regardless of the point of origin, eventually evolve into French bourdeauxesque type wines although Christian Moueix makes this in a rather bdx style with cab, cab franc and petit verdot to begin with. Briefly splash decanted just to get the must off the nose since everyone was ready to drink it but this could stand a short 30-60 minute decant if time allows. Dark purple with some peripheral bricking, softening, tannins and acid still quite present but very well integrated at this point, good mouth feel, very well balanced, complex and with a really long lingering aftertaste. Nose initially muted but with some air opened up and was dark and floral with dark fruit, blackberry, cassis and tobacco. Flavor profile dark, well integrated and surprisingly intense with balanced oak, cassis, dark fruit, tobacco, earth and a very pleasant mushroom note on the end. Highly recommend this wine. With a few more years allowing for further develpoment of secondary flavors this is easily a 97-98 point wine.
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Red
10/17/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
95 points
A beautiful, elegant and complex Napa valley reserve cab that truly deserves that label. Capped off an epic night of older CA cabs at our wine group tasting and stood up very well to the likes of equally old both Napa & Alexander valley Silver Oak, Caymus SS, Opus One, Quintessa and Dominus. At this point of maturation this is actually quite a reasonable QPR at our original acquisition cost. Still somewhat youthful and with proper cellaring has at least another 5+ years to go but as good as it is right now I am not sure that there is any further upside to continued cellaring - recommend starting to drink these up. This wine right now again really proves the old adage that all really good and well made cabernets / bdx blends, regardless of the point of origin, eventually evolve into French bourdeauxesque type wines - right now this would be very hard to pick out as New World in a flight of older bordeauxs. Briefly decanted just to get the must off the nose but this does not really need a decant if you can just wait a few minutes after pouring it and swirl the glass a bit. Purplish red with noticeable peripheral bricking, soft mouth feel, very well balanced and integrated, complex and with a really lovely lingering aftertaste. Nose initially somewhat muted but with some air opened up and was very airy and almost floral with red fruit, a light hint of cedar, smoke and coffee. Flavor profile included cassis, dark fruit, mocha, leather, tobacco and warm cooking spices with a lighter again almost cedary finish. Very sorry to only have one more bottle. Highly recommend this wine.
4 people found this helpful Comments (1)
White
10/16/2016 - ikkaariainen wrote:
90 points
Very pleasant surprise - a slightly older and very mature single vineyard NZ sb that is drinking great now but probably should be drunk up within the next year. A really good QPR wine at our price point with no further upside in further cellaring. Darker yellow / more amber then most NZ sb's due to age. Soft, mellow, not bright and acidic any more and surprisingly complex. Soft nose with some burnt sugar, honey and lemon grass and flavor profile consisted of more lemon grass, peach and honey dew melon then the typical bright acidic citrusy profile so typical of many NZ sb's. Definitely recommend this wine with the caveat that I think it will not hold much past next year and any holdings need to start to be drunk up.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/14/2016 - ikkaariainen wrote:
93 points
Traded for this years ago from fellow CT'er BillyT (see his note below). A really nice and still surprisingly youthful and spicy Sonoma syrah which paired very well with duck. A good QPR wine at the average CT cost and still big enough to really benefit from at least an hour in the decanter. Several more years of life left with appropriate cellaring. Dark inky purple, still a big wine but now soft, tannins and acid present but well integrated, good mouth feel and full bodied with a long pleasant aftertaste. Big floral rich nose with dark fruit, blackberry, violet and a note of eucalyptus on the end. Flavor profile more muted and balanced with more of a cedar note then an oaky note present and dark fruit, blackberry and dark cherry up front and more of a spicy finish with black pepper, garrigue, grilled meat and tobacco on a long lingering finish. Definitely recommend this wine.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/13/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
94 points
A great Barbaresco nebbiolo blend with cab and merlot from the Langhe region by one of the absolute masters of the trade. This wine is drinking incredibly well right now and paired so so well with Giordano's Chicago style deep dish pizza that I had shipped in as an early b-day surprise for the wife. A great QPR wine at our acquisition price. Quite a bit of initial funk on the nose so will benefit from a short 30-60 minute decant but otherwise so soft and mature that you could also get around this simply by pre-pouring and swirling the 1st round of glasses and letting them sit for a while before digging in. By far the best and oldest nebbiolo / nebbiolo blend we have had, either Barolo or Barbaresco and it has given me a bit more respect and interest in that grape and those regions. Deep purple, soft mouth feel, medium - full bodied, very well balanced, bright acid all gone but still has enough structure left for proper cellaring into 2020+. Nose softer and more floral then expected with dark fruit and hints of black pepper, violet and lilac. Flavor profile complex with well controlled fruit, garrigue, coffee and chocolate with a progressive tobacco / cigar box note on a very lengthy beautiful finish. Highly recommend this wine - it is drinking beautifully right now.
Red
10/12/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
91 points
A really nice and currently very well drinking negociant malbec sourced from various Mendoza vineyards. A very reasonable QPR at our acquisition cost. Will benefit from at least a short decant and has enough structure and backbone left for at least 2-3 more years of cellaring but is softening up very nicely - time has been kind to this wine. Dark purple, full bodied, surprisingly soft mouth feel and very well balanced with a lovely lingering aftertaste - at this point of development if blinded most people would think this was a mature bigger bolder cab. Nose dark and intense with dark fruit, cola and mocha and primary flavors consisted of dark fruit, very well balanced oak, blackberry and black cherry with an earthier finish of coffee and leather. Definitely recommend this wine.
Red
10/6/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
92 points
A beautiful, complex, soft and now very mature Alexander Valley cab from a very good winemaker. A reasonable QPR at our acquisition cost. We popped and poured this on a whim last night and up front it was too cold and needed more air so 1st glass very muted, 2nd glass singing - give this at least 30-60 minutes in the decanter and let it warm up from the cellar temp to much closer to room temp. Tannins still present but very smooth and totally integrated - my guess is that with proper cellaring this wine still has 2-3 really good years to go but at this point has definitely peaked - I see no further upside to continued cellaring. Dark purple, soft mouth feel, good texture, very smooth and complex, well integrated and balanced with a reasonable but not super long aftertaste. Nose dark and floral with dark fruit, violet and black pepper. Primary flavors up front included dark fruit, oak and cassis with warm cooking spices and again a floral violet / lilac note on the very end. Definitely recommend this wine.
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Red
10/4/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
90 points
Very surprised and pleased with this wine. A really good, inexpensive, well balanced, mature and at our acquisition cost an outstanding QPR daily drinker Spanish red blend from the Zaragoza region of NE Spain. Interesting blend - 70% garnacha, 20% syrah and 10% cab. 1st glass out of the bottle already pretty smooth but it will benefit from a short 30-60 minute decant. With proper cellaring still has a good 3-5 years to go. Deep purple, great soft mouth feel, well balanced, medium - full bodied with a lovely lingering aftertaste. Nose somewhat muted and balancedwith dark fruit, spices, smoke and more white then black pepper. Flavor profile of dark cherry, dark berries and balanced oak up front with cooking spices and gamey grilled meat and smoke on the finish. Highly recommend this wine.
Red
10/3/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
90 points
A very nice, inexpensive, fruit forward and at our acquisition cost a great QPR daily drinker CA red wine from the Caymus family - guessing cab dominant with also syrah present although as with the Conundrum white the actual blend nor source vineyards are not divulged on the bottle. Smoothed out a bit with time in the glass so it will benefit from a 30-60 minute decant if you have the time but also fine just popped and poured - 2nd glass will be a bit better and smoother. Inky black, pleasant mouth feel, reasonably well balanced, full bodied, fruit forward and it has a nice lingering aftertaste. Nose big and floral with dark fruit, tobacco and pepper with dark fruit and balanced oak up front and a more earthy smokey finish. With proper cellaring this definitely has a few more years to go and I do expect some softening. Highly recommend this wine as an entry level daily drinker.
White
10/2/2016 - ikkaariainen Likes this wine:
88 points
A still enjoyable, warm and reasonably complex single vineyard CA chard but losing fruit with thus more pronounced acidity - any remaining holdings need to drunk up relatively soon. A good QPR at our acquisition cost - got this from our CC during a cellar clearance sale. Warm and round, controlled butter and oak but overall definitely in a classic CA chard style, dark gold and a pleasant aftertaste. Warm nose of honey, honeydew melon and a hint of cinnamon. Flavor profile probably darker then originally intended when more fruit was present - structured acids, buttery oak, yellow apple, a hint of banana and toffee. Significantly degraded overnight even with refrigeration. Hard to recommend this wine as it is clearly a bit over the hill at this point.
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